Saturday, July 11, 2009

Unusual Uses for Peaches

We're living in the peach belt. Yay, ten miles up the road is a huge orchard with a dozens of types of peaches ripening in waves all summer long.

So besides biting into a ripe one and letting the juice run down your face, what can you do with peaches? Not content to make pies and cobbler, although they are luscious, I did a little research and experimentation.

First up: Peach Salsa. A lovely condiment to use as garnish, in Mexican food, with chips or with scrambled eggs.

My adaption of a recipe on line (a small batch):
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1 Georgia tomato, diced
1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
red pepper
black pepper
juice from 1/2 lime
no cilantro, don't like it

Dan added (much better):
1/2 tbl. molasses
1/2 tbl. balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
dash of basil

Stir and let ripen in the fridge. Yummy.

Next, the Italian way to eat peaches, from

Slice peaches into glass
Fill with wine
Eat peaches with tip of a knife

If you want, you can let the peaches soak in the wine for a while, with a couple of teaspoons of sugar and dash of nutmeg or cloves.

Leave it to the Italians to figure out how to add wine into a peach recipe. (I am one, you know)
My great-grandparents came from Barga, Italy, a gorgeous Tuscan town on top of a mountain.

Next, I'll be trying another Italian recipe, Marmellata di Pesche, also made with wine. Natch.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Good Recipe for Zucchini

Or, what to do with those giant green things in your garden.

At the farmer's market the other day, I was buttonholed by Bob Bradbury, an older gentleman who sells honey. "Do you want a taste?" he asked, brandishing a paper cup and a squeeze bottle. No, I replied. We already bought some. And we had, in an attempt to cure Dan's allergies with local honey. We're testing the theory that the local pollen in the honey will make him more resistant.

He switched gears and asked if I wanted a zucchini. He had a few giant ones that resembled a caveman's club. I prefer the very small tender ones. Sensing my imminent refusal, he waved a recipe sheet under my nose. Zucchini Seafood Casserole. "It's good," he said. "It's just me and my wife and we ate it for several days. It improved with age."

How could I resist? I had hoped to buy greens for a crustless quiche but there weren't any. Maybe we could do zucchini instead. Complimenting him on his salesmanship, I bought a 3-pounder and lugged it home.

I made up the recipe and it is much better than it sounds by the ingredients. I did make a couple of changes, to suit my tastes and I've noted those.

Bob Bradbury's Zucchini Seafood Casserole

4 cups peeled, sliced zucchini (remove seeds)
1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese (I used Velvetta)
1 cup chopped onion (I used about 1/2 onion)
3 eggs
1 6.5 oz. can tuna, crab meat, or salmon (I used a 4 oz. can of small shrimp)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup milk)
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread into a greased baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.